During his first full season of GT3 competition last year, Ivan Pareras established himself as a potential star of the future, driving for Phoenix Racing in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.
In this week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass the 19-year-old Spaniard talks about his career to date and his plans and goals for the future.
How would you rate your success from your first GT3 campaign last year?
“It was a season with a lot of learning. Luckily I managed to adapt very quickly to the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in pre-season testing at Paul Ricard. The results came quite soon, achieving a third position overall in the 12 Hours of Spa.
“Then, in the Paul Ricard 1000km, I managed to finish second in the Silver Cup. But there were also some setbacks that kept us from fighting for the Silver Cup title. Overall, it was a season that marked a [new chapter] in my sports career.”
What was your prior experience in racing before moving into GT3s last year?
“I started in touring cars when I was 16 years old in a Seat Leon TCR for Monlau Competicion, and I finished second in the Spanish championship.
“Also the same year I made the jump to GT4 cars in the 24 Hours of Barcelona, where I managed to take pole position and win the race.
“Then the next year, I had the opportunity to do a full season of the GT4 European Series with Leipert Motorsport, including finishing third at Brands Hatch.
“After some testing for the 2019 season, Phoenix Racing trusted me and gave me the opportunity to run in GT World Challenge Europe.”
And your proudest moment or biggest achievement so far?
“The best achievement was my result at the Paul Ricard 1000km, what an amazing race!”
What are your racing plans for 2020?
“My plans for 2020 is to do some races in the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, but we are now thinking more towards the next season.”
You’ve had some successful results in the SRO E-Sport GT Series, is sim racing something you’re experienced in?
“Yes, I have been using sim racing for a long time as a tool to improve in real life.
“It allows me to train on all the championship’s circuits with the same car, helping me when the time comes to get into the real car to be more prepared.”
What’s your long-term racing ambition?
“My long-term ambition is to be an official factory driver, competing in GT World Challenge Europe or the FIA World Endurance Championship. I want to stay at the high level that this requires until I’m older.”
What else do you do away from the track? Hobbies/interests, or a job, or are you in education?
“My hobbies that help me become a better driver are going to the gym and sim racing. This allows me to be physically and mentally fit.
“Right now I’m studying marketing and advertising, and at the moment I have no problem combining it with races.”